James Rowe teaches in the School of Global Studies, Social Science & Planning and is a Research Fellow with the Centre for Applied Social Research at RMIT.
James has worked at RMIT in a research capacity since 2000 before joining the school in a teaching role in 2005. He received his doctorate from Monash University in 2000 after conducting a critical analysis of Victorian drug policy in which he argued against the continued politicisation (and consequent criminalisation) of what is essentially a health and welfare issue.
Since joining RMIT James’ research has had a largely qualitative focus. He believes that the experiences that we have as diverse members of the community emphasise our similarities rather than our differences. However, circumstances often beyond personal control lead to many members of the community being marginalised and losing their 'voice' – particularly when discussing policies and practices that directly affect their lives.
James is also a member of Amnesty International.
Teaching/areas of expertise and research interests
- Contemporary Australian politics
- Sociology of drug use
Research and scholarship
Research interests and consultancies
James’ primary research interests revolve around the connecting with and talking to marginalised drug users, particularly street-based users such as the homeless and illegal sex workers. While these individuals form a small minority of drug users, it is they who feel the full weight of prohibitive policies while being excluded from having any contribution to the formation of such policies that have proved ineffective and counterproductive. In seeking to correct this imbalance, he has also worked with professionally employed injecting drug users
James’ recent research was used to support the establishment and DHS funding of Access Health, a primary health care facility tailored to the needs of street-based drug users and other vulnerable populations in the City of Port Phillip. He completed an evaluation of the facility in 2006. This concluded that the service was proving an accessible and highly valued (and attended) resource for its intended clientele.
James has conducted several research projects for Salvation Army Crisis Services and has worked in a consultancy capacity for the Victorian Parliamentary Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee. In 2006, he was appointed to the Prostitution Control Act Advisory Committee to provide advice to the State Government regarding the regulation of licit and illicit sex work in Victoria.
In recent years, James completed research with low-income individuals in pharmacotherapy programs for opiate dependence. The research found that the cost of treatment was responsible for many individuals having their treatment involuntarily discontinued which then caused them to fall back into destructive cycles of illicit drug use. The resulting report: 'A Raw Deal: Impact in the health of consumers relative to the cost of pharmacotherapies' recommended the subsidisation of dispensing fees for individuals in receipt of income support. James is currently employed by the specialist sex work advocacy organisation RhED as the primary researcher in a DHS funded qualitative project to measure prevalence, risk and need across the various sectors of the unregulated (illegal) sex industry in Victoria.
- BA (Hons), Monash
- PhD, Monash
- Rowe, J.,Harris, L. (2016). 'Get up, stand up!' - giving people the means to respond to opioid overdose In: The Salvation Army Melbourne Australia
- Rowe, J. (2011). SHANTUSI: Surveying HIV and Need in the Unregulated Sex Industry In: Department of Human Services Melbourne, Australia
- Rowe, J. (2007). A raw deal? Impact on the health of consumers relative to the cost of pharmacotherapy In: Centre for Applied Social Research Melbourne, Australia
- Rowe, J. (2006). Street walking blues : sex work, St Kilda and the street, RMIT University Press, Melbourne
- Rowe, J. (2005). Laying the foundations: addressing heroin use among the 'street homeless' In: Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 12, 47 - 59
- Rowe, J. (2005). Access Health: Providing primary health care to vulnerable and marginalised populations - A practice paper In: Australian Journal of Primary Health, 11, 32 - 37
- Rowe, J. (2005). From deviant to disenfranchised: The evolution of drug users in 'AJSI' In: Australian Journal of Social Issues, 40, 107 - 123
- Rowe, J. (2004). Evidence, expedience and the politics of marijuana In: Harm Minimisation : Zero Tolerance and Beyond :The Politics of Illicit Drugs in Australia, Pearson Education Australia, Australia, Sydney, Australia
- Rowe, J.,Mendes, P. (2004). The politics of ilicit drugs In: Harm Minimisation: Zero Tolerance and Beyond : The Politics of Illicit Drugs in Australia, Pearson Education Australia, Australia, Sydney, Australia
- Dalton, T.,Rowe, J. (2004). A wasting resource: Public housing and drug use in inner-city Melbourne In: Housing Studies, 19, 229 - 244
1 PhD Completions
- My mother, your brother, our daughter... Sex work, survival and stories from the street. Funded by: Salvation Army Crisis Centre Project from (2004 to 2004)
- Literature Review for the Victorian Parliamentary Drugs & Crime Prevention Committee. Funded by: Victorian Parliamentary Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee pre-2014 from (2004 to 2004)
- Access Health. Towards Best Practice in Primary Health Care: A Framework for Evaluation. Funded by: Salvation Army Crisis Centre Project from (2004 to 2004)
- Research into poverty for Hume City Council. Funded by: Hume City Council Contract from (2003 to 2004)
- Design project for the Development of Primary Health Care Services for the Proposed Fixed-Base PHCF at 31 Grey Street, St. Kilda.. Funded by: Salvation Army Crisis Centre Project from (2003 to 2003)